Frequently Asked Questions & Cabinetry Terms

The following topics will apply to all of your home’s cabinetry. When you have familiarized yourself with these options, and have a good idea of your budget, please give us a call to schedule a meeting. Don’t forget to bring your photos, ideas, and the dimensions of the space to be designed; including ceiling height!


Wood Species:
Wood species include, but are not limited to Cherry, Hard and Soft Maple, Red and White Oak, Walnut, and Paint grade hardwoods.

Moldings/ Architectural Details:
These might include glass mullioned doors, shelving, turned leg details, appliqués, raised panel finished ends, and various decorative wood details.

A decorative wood bracket, sometimes carved, is used for support or accent.

Cabinet Face Frame/Door Style:
You will select from a wide variety of samples in our shop. To review these choices prior to our meeting, see our website at, or visit our shop to view samples.

Cabinet Finish:
We offer both stained and painted finishes, glazed, distressed, brushed, hand wiped, and antiqued processes. Cabinets can also be finished on-site by a builder-provided contractor. In this case, DeRita Woodworking will provide a primed product. Keep in mind that wood grain, being a natural product, will vary slightly. Similarly, custom hand-applied paint finishes will have natural variations in appearance.

Ceiling Height/ Soffit Treatment:
Will there be open space between the top of the cabinet and the ceiling, or will there be a wood or drywall soffit between the cabinet top and the ceiling? Will crown moldings be used on the top of the cabinets?

Lighting Requirements:
Interior cabinet lighting is an effective way to showcase collections and add drama to a room. In general, cabinets are lit either by means of an overhead halogen lamp inside the cabinet (puck lite) or by strip lights installed behind the interior face frame. Keep in mind that wood shelving will not permit overhead light to penetrate. In this case, we can provide glass shelving. Customer or builder-provided under-cabinet lighting can be finished with decorative moldings as needed. We will need other lighting specifications only if they will impact cabinet construction.

Knobs and pulls for your cabinetry.
We offer hardware from several suppliers (See Links). Since the current hardware prices vary so greatly, we do not offer a hardware allowance.  Hardware selections made before final job pricing is issued will be incorporated into the overall job pricing. Otherwise, hardware will be billed as an extra. If we receive customer selections before shipment and the hardware will be purchased through us, we will drill the cabinetry before it leaves our shop. If the hardware is purchased through another source, the installer will be responsible for drilling the hardware on-site.

Toe Kick/Cabinet Bottom Treatment:
Choices include a standard 3×4″ toe kick (recessed area beneath cabinet face), a furniture toe (a scrolled cut out at the base of the front frame), a base molding to the floor, or a flush toe (an extension of the cabinet face frame to the floor).

Bump Outs:
This refers to a design technique that varies the depth of one or more cabinets along a straight run to create detail and shadow lines. We can advise you if this technique would be appropriate in your situation.

5 Piece Door:
Popular, sturdy door construction with 5 pieces assembled together, 2 stiles, 2 rails, and a panel. Doors can have either a raised or recessed panel and mitered or Cope n’ Stick corners.

Portion of 5-piece construction that runs along the sides of the door.

Portion of 5-piece construction that runs along the top and bottom of the door.

Center portion of 5-piece construction. A raised panel is made of solid material that brings the panel height level to the frame. A recessed panel sits lower than the frame height and is often made of plywood.

5-piece construction assembled with stiles and rails joining in the corners at a 45-degree angle.

Cope N’Stick/Butt Joint:
5-piece construction with stiles and rails joining at a 90-degree angle in the corners.

Applied Molding:
5-piece construction with additional molding applied to the face frame of the door to give a more elaborate look.

5-Piece Drawer Front:
Just like a 5-piece door, the 5-piece drawer front is comprised of 2 stiles, 2 rails, and a center panel. Horizontal grain direction is standard on the panel of the drawer front. Rails are typically made narrower than the rails on the matching door style.

Solid/Slab Drawer Front:
Solid piece that usually has the same outside edge as the matching door.

Routed Drawer Front:
Solid drawer front with detail carved into it to match the detail of the door.

Non-functional door sections that serve to cover large exposed areas along the backside of cabinets, often used on island and bar sections.

High-end specialty doors that have a curved construction. Convex doors bend with the face pushed outward; concave doors curve with the face bent inward.

Glass Frame Only Door:
Stiles and rails are assembled without a panel to allow for the glass to be inserted.

French Lite/Mullion  Door:
Door construction with multiple openings in the panel is used for glass. Each opening is referred to as a “lite” and is separated by “mullions” (small strips of wood usually shaped with the same detail as the door).

Face Frame Cabinetry:
The face of the cabinet box is seen in between the doors and the drawer fronts.

European/Frameless Cabinetry:
The doors and drawer fronts cover the face of the cabinet box.

Thin sheets of wood that offer consistent grain pattern and color, are usually applied to a sturdy fiberboard or plywood core.